According to Malaysia’s health minister, the Omicron coronavirus strain has already reached the country and may be spreading domestically.
The variant was discovered in old samples of COVID-positive tests taken between November 11 and November 28, according to Khairy Jamaluddin, ahead of its official naming by the World Health Organization, or WHO. The Omicron-infected individual was a 19-year-old vaccinated undergraduate who arrived from South Africa on Nov. 19, travelling through Singapore, and has already been freed from quarantine in Malaysia.
“The person was quarantined for 10 days until November 29,” stated the 45-year-old Rembau Member of Parliament, adding that the patient was asymptomatic and had tested negative for COVID-19 after being released from confinement.
“We have to face the possibility that (additional Omicron variant cases) are already present in Malaysia,” he continued.
In light of Omicron worries, old samples of COVID-19 positive patients were recently sent for genetic sequencing. After being discovered in South Africa, the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 Omicron was officially designated by WHO earlier this week.